Monday, November 15, 2010

The Circle of Life

Farming has taught our family so many things we would never have learned had we stayed in the city.  After almost five years of educating ourselves about everything from how to milk a goat to how to butcher a turkey, we are fairly well-educated, family farmers.  One of the biggest lessons we have learned is more a reinforcement of sorts.  Clearly, even living in the city, we were well aware of the circle of life.  However, out here on our little farm that tenant of existence has been reinforced over and over again.  Where there is life, there also exists death.

Yesterday, we decided to go for a family hike - a rarity these days.  It was such a beautiful day and we really enjoyed exploring the glory of Northern Arizona.  As we re-entered the back of our property, a clutch of white feathers caught my eye.  Then I was struck by the absolute silence.  More and more feathers flooded my view.  While the goats seemed fine, there wasn't a rooster or chicken in sight.  Then the hunt began.  We started running around the property in search of the dead and hoping for survivors.  In the end, we found our rooster (hurt, but not critically), three alive hens, one dying hen, and three dead hens.  All that was left of the one hen we couldn't find was a drift of white feathers.

The least graphic photo I could take of the massacre.

We gathered up the survivors, relocated & reinforced their coop, and began the search for new chickens.   While losing poultry to predators is not uncommon, it stinks!  Although we do raise chickens for eggs and for meat, we pride ourselves on the fact that all of our poultry live free-range, happy lives.  Even our meat chickens have never lived in terror and it does upset me that these hens died horribly.  Also, we now must buy crappy eggs for the next few months!  

I did find new chickens and we will pick them up this Sunday.  In the meantime, I was gifted with a gorgeous green egg today by one of our survivors.......

Perfect, just perfect.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Passion Party

Where we live the days of Tupperware parties have gone by the wayside and it is more common now to end up with an invitation to a passion party*.  While those little gatherings are educational to say the least, they are nothing compared to the passion party that Scott and I have been having!  We purchased this Big Boy last year and, as promised, it has brought back the spark to our union.

Oh, yeah, BABY!

Who knew that dehydrating food could be so exhilarating, so stimulating?  Well, I must be honest here and tell the full story.  Scott does all the work.  He slices and slices and slices while I do nothing.  Why then is this better than couples therapy?  Because any man who slices, dices, chops, cooks, and cleans in a kitchen is HOT!  Wow, just thinking about Scott as a kitchen queen is making me blush!  Maybe queen isn't the right description, but it is what comes to mind.

Anyway, so far, we have been quite limited in the variety of fruit we have filled this beast with.  To date, we have processed hundreds of pounds of peaches, pears, apples, and cherries.  Now, we do hope to expand our repertoire, but really there are only so many hours in the day. And, we can only eat so much dried fruit.....sorry, we are mere humans.   But, do take a look as how perty the results are...

Apples, cherries, and peaches....OH MY!

Oh, and perhaps I lied a little bit about me just sitting around.  See those cute bags?  I made those!  And, yes, I do know that I put peaches in an apple bag, but I haven't yet sewn the peach bag....Geez!

Well, today the Big Boy was humming along sucking the life out of a batch of sliced peaches when I noticed how dusty it had become.  Since I find Scott irresistible when he is dehydrating and because after years and years and years and years of marriage I understand the importance of highlighting the good times, I decided to do something about the dust ridden Big Boy FAST.  Thus, I whipped out a little insurance for The Stimulator today which will keep him clean and happy and functioning for eternity.

Sometimes having too much fabric sitting around is a good thing!

And, NO, Scott is not The Stimulator.....he's MY Big Boy......


Crafty Farmer

*If you have never been to a passion party, you have not lived.  To see a group of women being introduced to the latest and greatest in the sex toy world by a "traveling saleslady" is, well, HILARIOUS!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Operation Trough Retrieval

Okay, we are not used to a plethora of rain here, but lately we have been dumped on.  So, our pig pen has become a swimming hole with an emphasis on hole.  Some, probably lethal, combination of water, sh*t, and dirt have taken over and the pigs are wading around trying to find a dry spot.  What this also means is that their troughs have filled with this batter too.  Because we prefer our meat to not eat sh*t soup, I sent my youngest into the pen for Operation Trough Retrieval which did make me feel a little evil.

I wasn't sure he was going to make it out alive or that we wouldn't have to give him a bleach bath when he was done.

If you feel nauseous looking at these photos, please step away from your computer because I don't think vomit and keyboards were meant for one another.

In the end, my baby made it out okay even though my boots (See!  I am not all that evil after all!  I let him borrow my rain boots to go in there!) are now destroyed.  And, the troughs are cleaned and relocated to the driest (HAH!) part of their pen.


Crafty Farmer

To Blog or Not to Blog

Since we moved to the "country" over four years ago, A LOT has changed in our lives.  We went from being average suburban dwellers to being, well, farmers....I think.....

Anyway, as we have evolved into farmers, many stories have been left behind.  Due to what I fondly refer to as prodding by friends, I have decided that many of our crazy exploits do need to be shared.  Believe me when I say that you just can't make this stuff up......

So, stay tuned and I will try to provide some insight on what it's like to be modern homesteaders in today's crazy world!


Crafty Farmer